Students make personal connection to agriculture

Tanner Vierra, of Maxwell, and Ysabel Charter of Arbuckle were recognized by the Colusa County Farm
Bureau for being named regional winners in the Imagine this…writing contest, a program of the
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

The Colusa County Farm Bureau on Monday recognized two local students for their exceptional connection to agriculture.

Ysabel Charter, 11, a student in Laura Hensen’s fifth grade class at Arbuckle Elementary School, and Tanner Vierra, 9, a student in Shannon Vierra’s third grade class at Maxwell Elementary School, were named regional winners in the 2016 Imagine this… writing contest, a program of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

“Ag in the classroom has a special place at the Colusa County Farm Bureau,” said Jim Peterson, president. “We know that food doesn’t just arrive at the grocery store and appear on our dinner tables. There is an entire industry dedicated to providing safe and plentiful food for consumption.”

The writing contest is open to third through eighth graders.

“Stories are written about real or imagined events, based on accurate information about California agriculture,” Peterson said. “The contest helps students develop narrative and informative writing skills. It is designed to make a personal connection to agriculture.”

The program is also a teaching tool for people throughout the state to understand the important role agriculture plays in our daily lives, and what it takes to get food to consumers.

“Everyone in Colusa County is affected by agriculture,” Peterson said. “The Ag in the Classroom program helps us get the information out.”

Ysabel wrote and read her story, “The Almond Effect,” based on her favorite time of the year: harvest.

Ysabel has been raised on an almond ranch her entire life.

Like Ysabel, Tanner’s family is in the almond business, and his award-winning story is title “The Almond Adventure.”

The Imagine this… contest helps student enhance their research and writing skills, while developing their knowledge of agriculture through creative writing.

Gary Sack, a field representative for California Farm Bureau has been a judge for the contest.

He said the judges look for well-written work, stories that can pair with colorful illustrations, and are good teaching tools to other youth.

“We look for stories that present agriculture in a positive manner,” Sack said.

Sack said in order for students to win the top awards, about 48 to 50 of the best stories are selected by judges individually, then debated by the entire panel.

At Thursday’s event, the Colusa County Farm Bureau also recognized local agriculture teachers, FFA advisors Cindy Rohde and Gary Lederer of Pierce High School, and Nancy Jauregui of Maxwell High School.